NRL Round 21 – South Sydney v Brisbane Broncos: The late season surge – Starts next week

 

 

South Sydney DRLFC v Brisbane
Sunshine Coast Stadium, Kawana
Friday 21 July, 8:00pm

From first to ninth

Friday night football on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast: a Souths home game against the Brisbane Broncos, led by former Rabbitohs great Adam Reynolds, with Reyno’s boys sitting equal first on the NRL ladder.

In Round 9, seemingly a lifetime ago, Souths scored a convincing 32-6 win over the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.

For Souths, the scenario at Kawana was simple: a win would keep the Bunnies in the top eight.

 A loss, with the rampant Cowboys in ninth place, would most likely mean tumbling further down the ladder and out of the top eight.

The early signs were encouraging – Alex Johnston crossed for his 181st NRL try in the sixth minute.

The Broncos, aided by five ‘six again’ calls in the first seven minutes, as well as some all too familiar Souths defensive lapses, soon hit back through Staggs to even things up.

Broncos forward Marty Taupau was controversially sin binned for raising his knees into Campbell Graham who was returning to the NRL after time out due to a sternum injury.

Controversial? Fox League’s Corey Parker, a veteran of 347 NRL games for the Broncos, asked: “if that is not a send-off (offence), then what is?!”

Cobbo then scored, exposing Souths’ left side defence, before Campbell Graham scored a classy try right on half-time for Souths to take a 14-12 lead into the break.

After half-time, the wheels fell off for Souths.

After playing strongly to start the half, another handling error from Thomas Burgess gave the Broncos momentum.

Strong defence and strong attack, featuring many offloads.

Three tries in ten minutes sealed the deal.

Tass then scored for Souths to make things slightly interesting at 20-30, however, the dagger went straight through the hearts of the Souths faithful when our former captain Adam Reynolds scored the game-sealing try for the Broncos in the 74th minute.

For Souths, this was yet another game where the defence leaked more than thirty points.

Even more concerning was the lack of direction in attack, especially when Souths were playing against twelve players. Twice the Broncos had a player in the sin bin for ten minutes. Souths were unable to capitalise.

Cody looked far from his State of Origin Man of the Match form, Damien Cook was below his best, along with several others.

 ***

 

The Tony Rampling-Les Davidson tackle of the week: Isaiah Tass on Ezra Mam late in the first half. A great hit, especially considering Souths’ defensive issues,

https://twitter.com/NRL/status/1682342923264745472

Honourable mention: a try saver – Alex Johnston on wonder boy Reece Walsh, just after half-time.

The Mario Fenech-George Piggins inspirational play of the day: The Alex Johnston try saver, as mentioned above, to deny the wonder kid a try.

The Michael Andrews work rate award:  Jai Arrow, the one returning player who can hold his head high.

Injured for Origin games 2 and 3, Arrow ran straight and hard, and tackled like his life depended on it.

Arrow ran for 130m and made 29 big tackles.

Clearly, Jai was extra motivated for a strong display against one of his former clubs.

Hopefully, many of Jai’s team-mates took note of his tough display.  We will need much more of Jai’s attitude if we are any chance of turning the season around.

The Phil Blake ‘chip n chase’ best attacking moment: Alex Johnston crossed for his 181st NRL try in the sixth minute, taking him into third position all-time.

https://twitter.com/NRL/status/1682333267549102082

 

***

 

Souths now travel to Tamworth for Friday night football versus the Tigers.

Will the late season surge start this week?

Souths, after leading the competition after Round 11, now sit in ninth place.

Coach Demetriou offered a very blunt assessment in the post-match press conference.

https://www.nrl.com/watch/matches/telstra-premiership/2023/round-21/rabbitohs-round-21/

Will actions speak louder than words when Souths take on the seventeenth (last) placed Wests Tigers on Friday?

Full time: Brisbane 36 defeated South Sydney DRLFC 20.

South Sydney’s points: tries – Johnston 5’, Graham 40’, Tass 68’. Goals: Taaffe 4, Half-time: South Sydney 14-12

Highlights

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9r5fg2svgEY

Round 21 R.I.T.V. player of the year points:

3- Jai Arrow

2- Cam Murray

1 – Campbell Graham

PROGRESSIVE R.I.T.V. Player of the year points – leader board:

12: Campbell Graham

10: Hame Sele, Cody Walker and Keon Koloamatungi

9: Blake Taaffe and Junior Tetola

8: Latrell Mitchell

7: Jai Arrow

6: Lachlan Ilias

5: Cameron Murray, Thomas Burgess

4: Damien Cook, Davvy Moale

3: Alex Johnston and Isaiah Tass

2: Savili Havili, and Taane Milne

1: Tyrone Munro and Shaqai Mitchell

 

 

The Rabbit in the vineyard
Nuriootpa, Barossa Valley
South Australia

Russel Hansen has worked in schools for over thirty years – as a teacher, coach, coach educator, sports coordinator and in pastoral care roles. Whilst at Brisbane Boys’ College as Director of Athletics, he led teams to six GPS premierships in track and field, and cross country.  He has coached at all levels from school to international, most recently coaching a lad to the Australian U/20 4x100m relay squad for the 2022 world U/20 championships.  He is married to Heidi, a Primary school principal, and is father to two adult daughters.

 

 

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About Russel Hansen

Russel Hansen Has worked in schools for over thirty years – as a teacher, coach, coach educator, sports coordinator and in pastoral care roles. Whilst at Brisbane Boys’ College as Director of Athletics, he led teams to six GPS premierships in track and field, and cross country. He has coached at all levels from school to international, most recently coaching a lad (100m personal best 10.34secs) to the Australian U/20 4x100m relay squad for the 2022 world U/20 championships. He is married to Heidi, a Primary school principal, and is father to two adult daughters. Twitter: @Russel_Hansen

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